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Early Childhood Leadership Institute

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The Snelling Center for Government invites members of the public, nonprofit and private sectors to apply for admission to the Early Childhood Leadership Institute. The application process is highly competitive, with up to twenty-five associates selected on the basis of their achievements, demonstrated interest in early childhood issues, community, and potential for leadership.

Successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • Potential to provide the leadership needed to address issues of statewide significance
  • Serious and sustained interest in their communities
  • Achievement in their professions and/or civic life
  • Real potential for responsible and effective leadership in Vermont
  • A commitment to realizing the promise of every Vermont child

The Snelling Center is a non-partisan organization. As such, we encourage applicants from a variety of perspectives and we welcome ideological diversity.

The program is rigorous and demands a significant time commitment, plus a deep commitment to personal growth and development and to making a difference in early childhood work in Vermont.

The below information will be updated once recruitment for the next ECLI cohort begins.

The ECLI Class of 2024 will begin its training in November of 2023. Most session days take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with one overnight per session. Each session requires some advance preparation and some follow-up. Because of the interactive and interconnected nature of their time together, ECLI Associates are expected to make a full-time commitment to the program and to their own learning and development. The Snelling Center is seeking candidates with a strong sense of integrity and ethics, a disposition towards transparent and collaborative leadership, and the ability to build consensus and political support.

Tentative 2023-2024 Session Dates:

  • Thursday and Friday, November 9 & 10, 2023
  • Thursday and Friday, December 14 & 15, 2023
  • Thursday and Friday, January 18 & 19, 2024
  • Thursday and Friday, February 8 & 9, 2024
  • Thursday and Friday, March 7 & 8, 2024
  • Friday and Saturday, April 12 & 13, 2024

*Please note this is a tentative schedule. Locations will be updated prior to Session 1 and as the program progresses.

The Application Process:

  • Complete an application (including a $25 application fee). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until capacity is reached.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation (emailed to tasha@snellingcenter.org).
  • Participate in an interview or informational meeting.
  • Confirm your participation in September.

Program Fees

The full program cost is $5,500.00. The state will subsidize $5000.00. Applicants are expected to contribute $500.00 themselves. Single room accommodations can be arranged for an additional $500.00.

The Snelling Center recognizes that $500.00 may still pose a financial barrier, and is working to ensure our program is accessible to all early childhood leaders. Upon acceptance, we are happy to work with individuals to mitigate any financial concerns. Payment plans and financial aid are available. Reimbursement for missed work income may also be available. If you are concerned about the opportunity cost of this program, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our priority is running a successful program with a diverse cohort of early childhood professionals.

The Early Childhood Leadership Institute requires a genuine commitment of energy, time, patience and heart. Associates are expected to be on time and come prepared to each session. Applicants are assumed to value genuine dialogue and inquiry, curiosity about the early childhood issues facing Vermont, and are committed to the state, learning, and their own personal growth. The program design acknowledges that growth and learning can be uncomfortable. We strive to create a safe place for associates to stretch their thinking, challenge their beliefs, and try on new ideas. Associates are expected to participate fully and should have the support and commitment of their employers.